Education

How to Leave No Trace in City Parks

Washington, DC.: Visiting your local city park is a great way to get outdoors and connect with nature. While these parks are a little different than visiting the backcountry, humans can still have a big impact on the landscape. There are some things you will want to take into consideration when visiting to help minimize those impacts. Consider the paths you take while walking around the park. When you can, stick to trails or boardwalks to avoid damaging non-durable vegetation. Try not to cut corners or take shortcuts, as these areas can be hot spots for impacts. When you do veer off the main...

Kanarra in the Coal Mine

Kanab, UT - The Joes started the year in Southern Utah, which seemed like another planet compared to our Midwestern roots. Slot canyons are wild, y’all! Immediately after hiking part of Buckskin Gulch, we stopped at a Kanab coffeeshop, picked up a copy of The Southern Utah Independent , and saw a story that caught our eyes. Local land managers had imposed fees on a similar slot canyon just 50 miles northwest. Why? Human waste! According to the SU Independent , Kanarra Falls Canyon has seen a significant uptick in users with an equivalent increase...

Skills Series: Grey Water Disposal

Pocahontas State Park, Virginia: When camping, we produce wastewater, or “grey water,” whenever we wash ourselves or our clothing, clean our dishes or brush our teeth. Check out our video to learn more about how you can protect your favorite camping areas by properly disposing your grey water: Improper grey water disposal can pollute streams, harm wildlife and diminish other visitors’ experiences, so it’s important to learn how to deal with it properly. Even biodegradable soap can linger a long time in streams and lakes, and the food scraps from dirty dish water can attract wildlife, who...

Fees vs. Taxes: Feed the Iron Ranger

Loma Mar, California: Ever hiked right past that “Iron Ranger,” one of those tamper-resistant fee boxes found at a day-use area, trailhead, or campground, and thought, “I pay my taxes, don’t I?” It’s true that tax revenues help fund our public lands, but as a percentage of the federal budget, we’re not talking about a lot of your tax money. Let’s say your family paid $7,000 in federal taxes last year. According to our modest calculations, [1] you’ll have contributed $5.38 toward the National Parks’ budget and $8.49 toward the U.S. Forest Service budget. And, with wildfire suppression costs up...

APRIL FOOL'S! New Cathole Depth Requirement Announced [NOT REALLY!]

[APRIL FOOL'S ! THIS IS NOT A REAL THING.] Boulder, Colorado: The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, a leading provider of outdoor education resources, today announces new guidelines for digging catholes. While creating a cathole remains an ecologically sound technique for dealing with solid waste in outdoor settings, recent research shows that the previous recommendation for the depth of a cathole may be insufficient in some biomes. Photo: In accordance with Principle 3 , make sure that your cathole...

Campfire Alternatives

Amboy, CA: We are about to blow your outdoors-loving world. Ready? You can have fun camping WITHOUT A CAMPFIRE. Yes, we mean it. And, for the record, Leave No Trace is not anti-campfire. We, too, grew up roasting s’mores and hot dogs over campfires; that is, if by roasting, you mean burning into oblivion. We’ve strummed guitars and had deep (okay,“deep”) discussions by flickering flames. So we’re not anti-campfire. What we are is pro-responsible campfire and, sometimes, that means choosing to go fire-free. Maybe there’s not enough fuel to make a fire without destroying vital habitat or food...

How to Bring Leave No Trace to Your Community

Tucscon, AZ: We've been on the road for 10 months now, and often, folks just can't get enough of Leave No Trace. Once they see how effective Leave No Trace can be, they want Leave No Trace programming to come to their organization or local park. Ever wondered how to get Leave No Trace education into your community? Here are three ways to help share the Leave No Trace love: Bring in the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers Here at the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, we have four teams of two that travel the country specifically teaching Leave No Trace...

Eastern Hot Spot Excitement

Paradise Valley, AZ: 2018's Hot Spot program is in full swing! Our Hot Spot program identifies areas suffering from the severe impacts of outdoor activities - areas we believe can thrive again, by implementing Leave No Trace solutions. Each location receives a unique blend of educational programs, service projects, follow-up programs, and more. The result? Areas on the road to a healthy and sustainable recovery! We've chosen 20 Hot Spots for 2018, but we of Team East Central are particularly excited about one in particular: We know you were looking forward...

Parks are Taking Action to Protect Vital Resources

Ocala National Forest, FL: Trash is an eyesore when hitting the trails! While on the road, we have observed (and picked up) our fair share of other peoples throw away items. Our favorite trails, and public spaces don’t always have to look like a rubbish bin however. In fact, in Juniper Springs Recreation Area land managers have prohibited single use, disposable items on the popular Juniper Springs Run; and guess what? It works! This pristine paddle enters protected wilderness and is a very unique ecosystem with a gorgeous subtropical climate. It is because of these...

Do You Suffer from FOPO?

Joshua Tree, CA : Do you or someone you know suffer from FOPO? Fear of packing out your toilet paper can be serious condition, but there are easy and effective ways of overcoming this challenge. Even if you don’t suffer from FOPO, check out this video for the best ways to deal with toilet paper in the outdoors. Why such a fuss about toilet paper left outdoors? Toilet paper can take several months (yes, months) to decompose when left outside. Who loves used toilet paper? Flies! Know what else flies love? Landing on your granola bar right before you take a BIG bite…yuck!...

Pages